Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I'm not going to this conference with my friend Kym this weekend.

I wanted to. I'd say I "can't" go but that's not really true. There are obstacles and complications, but there were probably ways to overcome them. The truth is, I didn't push very hard at all, and that's my own fault.

I approach everything I want to do as if I need the world's permission to do it, and I never actually come right out and say, "This is important to me, and I need to find a way to do it." Instead, I wait and see if it's going to be easy enough for everyone else, and I try and make sure I'm not inconveniencing anyone. I read disapproval or disappointment into every question or comment about it. And then I shrug and give up because it's just some stupid thing for me, so it doesn't matter.

90 percent of what I do on a daily basis is for other people. And I can be very easily talked out of that last 10 percent. Just imply that my enjoyment is impinging on yours (or anyone's). Because everyone else comes first. And I'm incapable of standing up for myself. Because I have a pathological fear of conflict, or something.

But I'm not actually sure what I'm so afraid of. What am I afraid of?

5 comments:

Sachi said...

I know that was a rhetorical question but I'm answering it anyway. I have a thing about giving my opinion when it's not asked (BTW, if I do that and you don't want it, please feel free to delete ANYTHING I might write here and tell me to bugger off. It is your blog after all, and I found you, you didn't look for me to come read here.). This is a topic that requires about 20 novels to answer. I will not put you through that.

You're afraid of being selfish. Selfish means very simply self-interest or doing for oneself before all else. Selfish is a rational state of being. (If you, for example, do mean things to people, they will all leave you and you won't be happy. That is self-destructive, not selfish.) Not the negative connotation that it now has today. Let's remember that, if you don't take care of yourself first, who will be around to take care of those you love.

Mainstream thinking tells us to love thy neighbor and give the shirt off of your back. But they forget to mention that you must first have no need for that shirt. If you give it over but then feel resentful that you HAD to give it up, it completely defeats the purpose of the "love thy neighbor" part.

If you do not first nurture the things you love, they will not grow and they will eventually leave you. Then you will be spending your life making others happy, not because you want to, but because your happiness will be gone and you will want to live vicariously through others.

Gary said...

I'm sorry we couldn't find a alternative this time. I promise next time we'll get it done right.

Deborah said...

maybe you can hold your own buddhist women's conference at home. you can teach the girls something about buddhism, and I'll bet they can teach you something, too. Gary and the dog are welcome to participate, but only if they wear dresses. and then you can all bake tofu cookies or whatever it is buddhist women eat. and you won't have to get up at 5 in the morning like one has to at most of these conferences.

KymberlieBlu said...

As usual, I wish I had some great nugget of wisdom that'd make it all easy. But, the truth is that I could go to that conference without you, but I won't. So we each have our fears.

The truth is, I am grateful that you even wanted to go with me. Your enthusiasm about it was really inspiring. ;-)

However, the next time you need to kill the angel in the house, just call me and I'll give you my "eat the last slice of apple pie, damn it" pepp talk. Go Virginia, Go, Go, Virginia.

Jessica said...

Kay -- here's the thing to remember "You are a wholly separate person from every single other person you know, even if you're that person's daughter, sister, mother, or wife." Think about that for a minute. You are an entirely self-contained person. Yes, of course, you are also part of a bigger unit that is defined as your family, and/or friends, and/or universe at large, but you are also an individual. Practice telling yourself that and start exploring this concept in baby steps -- I bet you'll find out that you are actually a cool person and you like yourself -- you know, the you that is you, but also the you that is mother, sister, daughter, wife.